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Concept: Deuterium


It is often suggested that coffee causes dehydration and its consumption should be avoided or significantly reduced to maintain fluid balance. The aim of this study was to directly compare the effects of coffee consumption against water ingestion across a range of validated hydration assessment techniques. In a counterbalanced cross-over design, 50 male coffee drinkers (habitually consuming 3-6 cups per day) participated in two trials, each lasting three consecutive days. In addition to controlled physical activity, food and fluid intake, participants consumed either 4×200 mL of coffee containing 4 mg/kg caffeine © or water (W). Total body water (TBW) was calculated pre- and post-trial via ingestion of Deuterium Oxide. Urinary and haematological hydration markers were recorded daily in addition to nude body mass measurement (BM). Plasma was analysed for caffeine to confirm compliance. There were no significant changes in TBW from beginning to end of either trial and no differences between trials (51.5±1.4 vs. 51.4±1.3 kg, for C and W, respectively). No differences were observed between trials across any haematological markers or in 24 h urine volume (2409±660 vs. 2428±669 mL, for C and W, respectively), USG, osmolality or creatinine. Mean urinary Na(+) excretion was higher in C than W (p = 0.02). No significant differences in BM were found between conditions, although a small progressive daily fall was observed within both trials (0.4±0.5 kg; p<0.05). Our data show that there were no significant differences across a wide range of haematological and urinary markers of hydration status between trials. These data suggest that coffee, when consumed in moderation by caffeine habituated males provides similar hydrating qualities to water.

Concepts: Hydrogen, Deuterium, Drink, Dehydration, Caffeine, Coffee, Water, Urine


Organophosphorus nerve agents interfere with cholinergic signaling by covalently binding to the active site of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE). This inhibition causes an accumulation of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, potentially leading to overstimulation of the nervous system and death. Current treatments include the use of antidotes that promote the release of functional AChE by an unknown reactivation mechanism. We have used diffusion trap cryocrystallography and density functional theory (DFT) calculations to determine and analyze prereaction conformers of the nerve agent antidote HI-6 in complex with Mus musculus AChE covalently inhibited by the nerve agent sarin. These analyses reveal previously unknown conformations of the system and suggest that the cleavage of the covalent enzyme-sarin bond is preceded by a conformational change in the sarin adduct itself. Together with data from the reactivation kinetics, this alternate conformation suggests a key interaction between Glu202 and the O-isopropyl moiety of sarin. Moreover, solvent kinetic isotope effect experiments using deuterium oxide reveal that the reactivation mechanism features an isotope-sensitive step. These findings provide insights into the reactivation mechanism and provide a starting point for the development of improved antidotes. The work also illustrates how DFT calculations can guide the interpretation, analysis, and validation of crystallographic data for challenging reactive systems with complex conformational dynamics.

Concepts: Conformational isomerism, Acetylcholinesterase, Neurotransmitter, Deuterium, Density functional theory, Sarin, Nervous system, Acetylcholine


Previous simulations of the growth of cosmic structures have broadly reproduced the ‘cosmic web’ of galaxies that we see in the Universe, but failed to create a mixed population of elliptical and spiral galaxies, because of numerical inaccuracies and incomplete physical models. Moreover, they were unable to track the small-scale evolution of gas and stars to the present epoch within a representative portion of the Universe. Here we report a simulation that starts 12 million years after the Big Bang, and traces 13 billion years of cosmic evolution with 12 billion resolution elements in a cube of 106.5 megaparsecs a side. It yields a reasonable population of ellipticals and spirals, reproduces the observed distribution of galaxies in clusters and characteristics of hydrogen on large scales, and at the same time matches the ‘metal’ and hydrogen content of galaxies on small scales.

Concepts: Physical cosmology, Helium, Deuterium, Hydrogen, Big Bang, Redshift, Galaxy, Universe


Almost 80 years ago it was predicted that, under sufficient compression, the H-H bond in molecular hydrogen (H2) would break, forming a new, atomic, metallic, solid state of hydrogen. Reaching this predicted state experimentally has been one of the principal goals in high-pressure research for the past 30 years. Here, using in situ high-pressure Raman spectroscopy, we present evidence that at pressures greater than 325 gigapascals at 300 kelvin, H2 and hydrogen deuteride (HD) transform to a new phase–phase V. This new phase of hydrogen is characterized by substantial weakening of the vibrational Raman activity, a change in pressure dependence of the fundamental vibrational frequency and partial loss of the low-frequency excitations. We map out the domain in pressure-temperature space of the suggested phase V in H2 and HD up to 388 gigapascals at 300 kelvin, and up to 465 kelvin at 350 gigapascals; we do not observe phase V in deuterium (D2). However, we show that the transformation to phase IV' in D2 occurs above 310 gigapascals and 300 kelvin. These values represent the largest known isotropic shift in pressure, and hence the largest possible pressure difference between the H2 and D2 phases, which implies that the appearance of phase V of D2 must occur at a pressure of above 380 gigapascals. These experimental data provide a glimpse of the physical properties of dense hydrogen above 325 gigapascals and constrain the pressure and temperature conditions at which the new phase exists. We speculate that phase V may be the precursor to the non-molecular (atomic and metallic) state of hydrogen that was predicted 80 years ago.

Concepts: 300, Spectroscopy, Big Bang, Triple point, Atom, Deuterium, Hydrogen


N-Nitroso compounds are a versatile class of organic structures that allow expedient access to a diversity of synthetically useful architectures through demonstrated reactivities. We report herein the development of a Rh(III)-catalyzed N-nitroso-directed methodology for the ortho-olefination of arenes. The heightened reactivity endowed by the N-nitroso group translates to mild reaction conditions, high reaction yields, and synthetic compatibility of otherwise elusive substrates (e.g., an unactivated olefin, 1-octene). Comprehensive mechanistic studies on the electronic effect, deuterium exchange, kinetic isotope effect, kinetic profile, and numerous Rh(III) complexes have established [RhCp*]2+ as the catalyst resting state, electrophilic C-H activation as the turnover-limiting step, and a five-membered rhodacycle as a catalytically competent intermediate. The ability to elaborate the N-nitroso moiety to an amine functionality provides a seminal example of the innumerable synthetic possibilities offered by this transformable directing group.

Concepts: Alkene, Physical organic chemistry, Chemical kinetics, Nitro compound, Isotope, Deuterium, Functional group, Kinetic isotope effect


Direct dehydrogenative silylation of pyridyl and iminyl substrates with triethylsilane was achieved using (L)Ir(cod)(X) (1) (L = a perimidine-based carbene ligand, X = OAc and OCOPh) complexes as catalysts under toluene refluxing conditions in the presence of norbornene as a hydrogen scavenger, and the silylated products were obtained in good yields. The isolated bis(cyclometalated)iridium complexes, (C^C:)(C^N)IrOAc (2) (C^C: = a cyclometalated perimidine-carbene ligand and C^N = a cyclometalated pyridyl- and iminyl-ligated aromatic substrate), were key intermediates, where cyclometalated five-membered metalacycles of substrates such as phenylpyridine were selectively formed before yielding mono-ortho-silylation products. The bis(cyclometalated)iridium complex, (XyC^C:)(C^N)IrOAc (2d) (XyC^C: = a cyclometalated N-xylyl-N'-methylperimidine-carbene ligand and C^N = a 2-pyridylphenyl ligand), reacted with 2 equiv of Et3SiH to give an iridium hydride complex, (L4)(C^N)Ir(H)(SiEt3) (8d) (L = N-CH3, N-3,5-(CH3)2C6H3 perimidine), via demetalation of a N-3,5-xylyl ring of the carbene ligand of 2d. The formation of 8d was confirmed by isolating the corresponding chloro complex (L4)(C^N)Ir(Cl)(SiEt3) (8d-Cl) by treatment with CCl4. The N-methyl moiety of the carbene ligand was cyclometalated in the presence of norbornene at room temperature to afford (MeC^C:)(C^N)Ir(SiEt3) (10d) (MeC^C: = a cyclometalated N-xylyl-N'-methylperimidine-carbene), while at high temperature 8d reacted with norbornene and Et3SiH to afford the silylated product, 2-(2-triethylsilyl)phenylpyridine (3a) and norbornane. A deuterium labeling experiment using 2d and Et3SiD (excess) revealed the incorporation of deuterium atoms at two ortho-positions of the N-xylyl group (>90%) and at the 3-position of 2-pyridylphenyl ligand (ca. 40%) within 3 h at room temperature, indicating that the cyclometalation/demetalation of the N-xylylperimidine carbene and 2-phenylpyridine ligands were reversible processes. Isolation of these cyclometalated iridium complexes under controlled conditions and D-labeling experiments thus revealed a dual function of the N-aryl group bound to the perimidine-carbene ligand, which acted as both a neutral carbene ligand and a monoanionic ortho-metalated-aryl-carbene ligand through reversible C-H bond activation and Ir-C bond cleavage of the N-aryl group during the catalytic cycle.

Concepts: Deuterium, Benzene, Atom, Carbon-hydrogen bond, Enzyme, Catalysis, C-H bond activation, Hydrogen


Enzymes dependent on pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP, the active form of vitamin B6) perform a myriad of diverse chemical transformations. They promote various reactions by modulating the electronic states of PLP through weak interactions in the active site. Neutron crystallography has the unique ability of visualizing the nuclear positions of hydrogen atoms in macromolecules. Here we present a room-temperature neutron structure of a homodimeric PLP-dependent enzyme, aspartate aminotransferase, which was reacted in situ with α-methylaspartate. In one monomer, the PLP remained as an internal aldimine with a deprotonated Schiff base. In the second monomer, the external aldimine formed with the substrate analog. We observe a deuterium equidistant between the Schiff base and the C-terminal carboxylate of the substrate, a position indicative of a low-barrier hydrogen bond. Quantum chemical calculations and a low-pH room-temperature X-ray structure provide insight into the physical phenomena that control the electronic modulation in aspartate aminotransferase.Pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP) is a ubiquitous co factor for diverse enzymes, among them aspartate aminotransferase. Here the authors use neutron crystallography, which allows the visualization of the positions of hydrogen atoms, and computation to characterize the catalytic mechanism of the enzyme.

Concepts: X-ray crystallography, Vitamin B6, Enzyme, Deuterium, Neutron, Atom, Quantum mechanics, Hydrogen


The development of dental materials with improved properties and increased longevity can save costs and minimize discomfort for patients. Due to their good biocompatibility, glass ionomer cements are an interesting restorative option. However, these cements have limited mechanical strength to survive in the challenging oral environment. Therefore, a better understanding of the structure and hydration process of these cements can bring the necessary understanding to further developments. Neutrons and X-rays have been used to investigate the highly complex pore structure, as well as to assess the hydrogen mobility within these cements. Our findings suggest that the lower mechanical strength in glass ionomer cements results not only from the presence of pores, but also from the increased hydrogen mobility within the material. The relationship between microstructure, hydrogen mobility and strength brings insights into the material’s durability, also demonstrating the need and opening the possibility for further research in these dental cements.

Concepts: Deuterium, Materials, Hydrogen, Neutron, Proton, Dental materials, Materials science, Glass ionomer cement


A new series of 1,2-diaryl-4-substituted-benzylidene-5(4H)-imidazolone derivatives 4a-l was synthesized. Their structures were confirmed by different spectroscopic techniques (IR, 1 H NMR, DEPT-Q NMR, and mass spectroscopy) and elemental analyses. Their cytotoxic activities in vitro were evaluated against breast, ovarian, and liver cancer cell lines and also normal human skin fibroblasts. Cyclooxygenase (COX)-1, COX-2 and lipoxygenase (LOX) inhibitory activities were measured. The synthesized compounds showed selectivity toward COX-2 rather than COX-1, and the IC50 values (0.25-1.7 µM) were lower than that of indomethacin (IC50  = 9.47 µM) and somewhat higher than that of celecoxib (IC50  = 0.071 µM). The selectivity index for COX-2 of the oxazole derivative 4e (SI = 3.67) was nearly equal to that of celecoxib (SI = 3.66). For the LOX inhibitory activity, the new compounds showed IC50 values of 0.02-74.03 µM, while the IC50 of the reference zileuton was 0.83 µM. The most active compound 4c (4-chlorobenzoxazole derivative) was found to have dual COX-2/LOX activity. All the synthesized compounds were docked inside the active site of the COX-2 and LOX enzymes. They linked to COX-2 through the N atom of the azole scaffold, while CO of the oxazolone moiety was responsible for the binding to amino acids inside the LOX active site.

Concepts: Amine, Deuterium, Chemical element, Proton, Cancer, Cyclooxygenase, Cell, Spectroscopy


The deuteron is the simplest compound nucleus, composed of one proton and one neutron. Deuteron properties such as the root-mean-square charge radius rd and the polarizability serve as important benchmarks for understanding the nuclear forces and structure. Muonic deuterium μd is the exotic atom formed by a deuteron and a negative muon μ(-). We measured three 2S-2P transitions in μd and obtain r(d) = 2.12562(78) fm, which is 2.7 times more accurate but 7.5σ smaller than the CODATA-2010 value r(d) = 2.1424(21) fm. The μd value is also 3.5σ smaller than the r(d) value from electronic deuterium spectroscopy. The smaller r(d), when combined with the electronic isotope shift, yields a “small” proton radius r(p), similar to the one from muonic hydrogen, amplifying the proton radius puzzle.

Concepts: Chemical element, Deuterium, Nuclear fusion, Electric charge, Hydrogen, Proton, Neutron, Atom